What is cupping?

Cupping seems to be all the rage with athletes right now and for good reason, it works!  I have heard a lot of varying opinions since I first tried out cupping myself, some folks believe it’s a hoax and the benefit is just a placebo effect, others seem confused about it all together, some think it will be painful and others agree that it is absolutely fabulous.  In this post I hope to give you a clear and simple explanation of cupping so that you can go boldly forward to try it out for yourself!

Here we go….


The definition of cup·ping


noun: cupping

(in Chinese medicine) a therapy in which heated glass cups are applied to the skin along the meridians of the body, creating suction as a way of stimulating the flow of energy.

To add on to the dictionary definition cupping is used to stimulate blood flow, bring fresh blood to the area and increase healing. This means it is good for physical issues including injuries, muscle tension, pain, restricted movement and so much more!

Who can provide cupping treatments?

If you have a complimentary health care provider that you currently see my advice would be to check with them first for a recommendation.  If not you can visit us at Written on the Body!  Both Theresa and Richard offer cupping treatments in addition to Acupuncture to our clients.  Or you can seek out an acupuncturist, massage therapist or naturopathic physician who is trained in cupping.

What happens during a cupping treatment?

After a thorough intake with your practitioner they will have you disrobe the affected area.  Some practitioners might use a tiny amount of oil to prepare your skin for the cupping procedure.  There are different types of cupping, some use glass cups and fire to create suction and others use plastic cups that have tiny built in pumps to draw the air out.  Whichever type of cups used you will feel the flesh being sucked up into the cups, typically this is not painful but depending on your specific issue it can become a little more intense.  If it is too uncomfortable you can always let your practitioner know so that they can release some of the suction.  Some therapists will let the cups sit for a time (seconds to a few minutes) and others will move the cups around similar to a massaging motion.

What happens after a cupping treatment?

After your practitioner removes the cups you may feel some tenderness in the area but it typically fades within 24 hours, you may also feel more tired than usual as your body works hard to heal itself.  You will most likely have deep red or purple marks where the cups have been placed but they do not feel painful.  These marks are caused by stagnant blood and toxins coming to the surface and will fade within a week or so.  You will probably feel better!  You might notice more freedom and less pain in the areas that have been cupped.  If you get regular treatments and have a good self care routine you may even make a full recovery from injuries or other chronic issues.

Cupping in the news:

The Portland Trail Blazers added cupping into their injury prevention and recovery routines:


Floyd Mayweather recently got cupping:



Cupping is an ancient healing practice and this blog post is just a short adventure into what it is all about.  To really understand it you will need to experience it and learn about the philosophies surrounding traditional Chinese medicine.

Have more questions?  Leave them in the comments or email us at wonthebody@gmail.com.  Thanks for reading and we look forward to working with you soon!  Book online today.

3 ways to live a healthier and happier life in 2014

3 ways to live a healthier and happier life in 2014

I always slack a little on most of my routines (outside of hammock laying and beach going) through the Summer, we get such a short visit from the sun here in Portland that I feel justified in my laziness.  But It’s back to school time here in Oregon and I know that, like myself, many of you parents out there are ready to get back to the grind.  When the kids go back to school it becomes easier for us to get back on top of work, exercise, healthy eating habits and in general taking care of ourselves.  If you want to make a huge positive impact on your health and happiness you should try adding regular massage into your self care routine, you won’t believe what a difference it will make!  Still not sure?  Check out these great facts about the many ways regular massage can improve your overall well-being:

Find Relief from pain:

Millions of Americans suffer from pain and back pain seems to be the leader of the pack, in fact, low back pain is one of the most common reasons for missing work.   In fact, back pain is one of the most listed reasons for visits to the doctor’s office.  Treat low back pain with a combination of stretching, exercises and getting regular massage, acupuncture and/or chiropractic care.  It is important to remember that surgery or pharmaceuticals are not the only option for finding freedom from pain.  Many times with a little energy and regular self care you can live a happier and healthier life without the extra side effects that come with invasive surgery or drugs.healthier and happier life

Free yourself from Stress and Anxiety:

The world is always changing, moving more quickly, raising it’s expectations-heaping more and more onto our plates.  It is no wonder that many Americans are frequently suffering from bouts of depression, anxiety and insomnia.  Stress is a killer and if left unregulated it can cause all sorts of issues in the body.  Dr. Sheldon Cohen discovered in a 2012 study that “When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well.”  Help yourself regulate stress hormones with massage.  Regular massage reduces the hormone cortisol in your body, and give the happiness inducing neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine a boost.  Check out our buy 3 get 1 free massage packages and $55 monthly membership to get yourself on the path to freedom from stress today!

Look better, feel better and have more energy:

Speaking of stress, we all know it takes a toll on our energy levels as well as our appearance.  Weight gain or loss, dark bags under our eyes, dull skin and exhaustion are all common side effects of stress.  Massage can help these too by reducing stress levels and helping to boost your bodies natural healing abilities.  Massage also improves circulation and skin tone to promote that beautiful healthy glow we are all striving to achieve.    Learn more about the ways massage can help you feel and look better in this great article:  The amazing ways massage can help you look prettier

Living a healthier and happier life is contingent on a healthy routine including exercise, diet and self care.  Dedicate yourself to this cause-you are worth it!

Natural remedies for Neck Pain

Massage and Acupuncture are natural remedies for Neck pain

Neck pain is very common in our culture and there are many different reason’s a person can experience neck pain.  Some of these include poor posture, unhealthy holding patterns created by repetitive motion or overuse, injuries, structural issues and changes are just a few.  Neck pain can be very disruptive to a person’s everyday routine especially sleep patterns and regular work, when your body is chronically experiencing pain you are unable to function optimally.  This in addition to the possibility of permanent disability and severe injury are important reasons to address neck pain as early and aggressively as possible.  Here are some of the ways massage and acupuncture can help:

Acupuncture for neck pain:

acupuncture for neck pain

  • Can reduce spasms and lesson pain

  • Acupuncture can reduce inflammation and even obliterate it with regular treatments

  • Acupuncture promotes better blood flow through treated areas which promotes healing

  • Releases endorphins changing the way the brain and spinal cord perceives pain

  • Acupuncture addresses underlying issues such as stagnant energy, holding patterns, stress and other problems that are at the root of your neck pain

  • Cupping helps relax and break up stuck fascia and scar tissue freeing your body to move more efficiently

Massage for neck pain:

massage for neck pain

  • Increases blood flow which promotes healing

  • Decreases tension in muscles

  • Increases endorphin’s

  • Calms the body releasing tension all over the body rather than just in the select concentrated areas

  • Regular massage can help lengthen muscles that are shortened allowing your posture to correct itself

Consider massage and acupuncture as part of your health care plan, you are important and taking good care of your body is essential to living a long, healthy and happy life.  Check out our packages and memberships for affordable options in getting the treatment you need to become free of pain!

Affordable massage for Portland, OR!

Do you need a massage but can’t figure out how to fit it into your budget?

Check out our affordable massage opportunities for a sliding scale option to get the relief your body and mind are longing for.  These opportunities are limited and will be given on a qualified and first come/first served basis so don’t wait,  Apply today!

To qualify please use the following worksheet guidelines (you may email us for a copy of the worksheet to download if you prefer at wonthebody@gmail.com): sliding_scale_income_worksheet
once you have determined the category you qualify for you may be offered the following pricing options for sliding scale massage:

  • A.  $40 per one hour Peace Massage

  • B.  $45 per one hour Peace Massage

  • C.  $55 per one hour Peace Massage

  • D.  $60 per one hour Peace Massage

  • E.  Full Price

*These sliding scale massage appointments are limited and are given on a first come first serve basis.  Please send the completed sliding scale form and  supporting income documents to wonthebody@gmail.com.  We will notify you within 7 business days if you have been approved and the timeline/therapist available for you to book within.  We retain full rights to ask you for updated information and to alter your fee and booking/therapist schedule at any time.  If we choose to do so we will notify you via email.  Our regular cancellation policy applies to all sliding scale appointments.

If you don’t qualify for our sliding scale massage opportunities we have many other ways to get regular massage on a budget!  Check out our VIP Membership starting as low as $55 per month or our Buy 3 get 1 Free Packages Here.

Whichever way you go we hope to see you soon!  Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

Heat or Ice for injuries-what should you choose?

Heat or Ice for injuries-what should you choose?

Here is a great info-graphic on ice versus heat and how each of them work.  Remember that effective injury recovery involves the work you do at home as well as the treatments you receive from your health care team!

heat or ice for injuries

Other ways to help yourself heal:

  • Give yourself a break with sufficient time to rest and heal.  We know this can be frustrating because you want to get back to your life and things you love but this is the MOST important step in the process of healing.
  • Ice or heat for injuries:  from the beginning and through recovery-it will make a huge difference
  • Get help:  Physical therapy, Massage, Acupuncture, Personal Trainer’s, Chiropractic and other medical professionals can help you with a treatment plan to get you back to 100% as quickly as possible
  • Move:  Of course rest and a break from your routine is important but movement and gentle stretching is also important for a full recovery
  • Stay positive!  Stress does not promote healing, in fact it does the opposite, help your natural healing ability along by staying happy and relaxed, eating healthy, drinking water and getting plenty of sleep.  This may be the easiest step to forget but it can greatly impact the way your body heals itself.  If you feel caught in a rut with an injury take a look at your lifestyle and make adjustments as needed.

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you soon!

Have an injury we can help!  Book an injury treatment massage today:  https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=158494


Acupuncture for pain and stress

Acupuncture can benefit many types of ailments especially pain and stress!


acupuncture for pain

Acupuncture stimulates the body’s built-in healing mechanisms

Acupuncture “focuses body’s attention” to the injured area and in turn it stimulates the body’s ability to spontaneously heal injuries. As the body focuses on the the micro traumas induced by acupuncture, it also heals any surrounding tissue damage left over from old injuries.

 Acupuncture releases natural painkillers

Inserting a needle sends a signal through the nervous system to the brain, where chemicals such as endorphins, norepinephrine and enkephalin are released. Some of these substances are 10-200 times more potent than morphine!

Acupuncture reduces both the intensity and perception of chronic pain

It does this through a process called “descending control normalization”, which involves the serotonergic nervous system.

 Acupuncture relaxes shortened muscles

This in turn releases pressure on joint structures and nerves, and promotes blood flow.

Acupuncture reduces stress

This is perhaps the most important systemic effect of acupuncture.
Recent research suggests that acupuncture stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone and signaling substance that regulates the parasympathetic nervous system. You’ve probably heard of the “fight-or-flight” response that is governed by the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system has been called the “rest-and-digest” or “calm-and-connect” system, and in many ways is the opposite of the sympathetic system. Recent research has implicated impaired parasympathetic function in a wide range of autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

by Joy Earl, LAc


Joy Earl, LAc

Choose acupuncture for pain and stress and book your appointment with Joy today and learn about the benefits of acupuncture first hand!

Monthly Community Wellness classes begin this Thursday

We are now offering monthly wellness classes on the rooftop deck!

This months class is all about learning how acupuncture can ease your pain and it includes a free cupping demonstration


Why Acupuncture is so great for pain: The rivers of your body

Acupuncture is all over the news lately, everyone is talking about how great it is for pain. Shoulder, knee, back, hip…so long as you have pain, acupuncture is the natural alternative to harsh medications. But why? Have you ever wondered why acupuncture works? How the parasympathetic nervous system is your best friend and your body can, with a little help from acupuncture release the best pain killers around. This is your opportunity to learn how Chinese medicine and your health are mirrored in nature. When you see how the flow of energy or Qi in your body is just like a river, you will soon understand why acupuncture has so much to offer on your path to getting pain free!
Why not join us Thurs June 5th for a fun and interactive talk on Acupuncture and pain free living!!

Join us on Written on the Body’s rooftop deck on  Thursday June 5th from 6:30-7:30pm

Cost: Free!

Please Register HERE now-space is limited

Seasonal allergies and essential oils


Seasonal allergies can really put a damper on the beauty of spring.  Runny nose, red eyes, painful sinuses the list goes on and on…

Have you ever wondered if essential oils can aide in  allergy relief?  Check out this great information to see if this treatment is right for you:

essential oils for seasonal allergiesLavender, Lemon and Peppermint oils can be a great way to fight seasonal allergies!  You can use your favorite brand of oils, just make sure they are high quality!

essential oils for seasonal allergiesYou can also always try out our favorite:  Umay’s Take Me to the River blend:

Take me to the river essential oil blend for seasonal allergies

Take Me to the River ~
“Take me to the river and dunk me in the water.” Experience a “Calgon-take-me-away” moment with this synergistic clearing blend of emotionally and physically cleansing essential oils of juniper, ho wood, cedar, lemon, cinnamon, and eucalyptus. Perfect for flu and cold season or whenever you just need to shake off the day.

Whatever you decide about essential oils and seasonal allergies we hope that you find relief and are able to enjoy the loveliness of the trees and flowers in bloom!